Syria: Emergency Preparedness & Response

Syria: Emergency Preparedness & Response

Eight years after it began, the war in Syria is far from over. The numbers are frankly staggering: an estimated 11.7 million people are in need of assistance, more than half of all people in Syria are food insecure, 2.1 million children are out of school, and over 50% of basic infrastructure in the country is non-operational or completely destroyed. The fact that 1.2 million people are now living in hard-to-reach areas, combined with the continued armed clashes in many areas, complicates the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The severity of needs is especially high in Aleppo, Idlib, Damascus, Rural Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor and Raqqa governorates. At the same time, the ongoing conflict is fuelling displacement on a scale rarely seen in human history: 6.2 million people are currently estimated to be internally displaced, with an average of 4,380 people forced to leave their homes each day—many for the second or third time. These multiple displacements, compounded by difficulties finding work and widespread physical destruction, have exhausted people’s capacity to cope with the prolonged conflict.

People in need currently reach an average of 230,000 people each month in Syria, through a range of interventions.

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Ongoing aid

Livelihoods & Agriculture

Livelihoods & Agriculture

In the areas where PIN operates, the war has disrupted most forms of employment, with factories and other major employers forced to close. In response, People in Need has established a set of Technical Vocational Education and Training centres, staffed by skilled trainers from the local community. We provide students with transport and all the materials to undertake their training, along with equipment to sustain their new livelihood after graduation. Students receive both technical and business training, and the most successful and motivated graduates are awarded grants to launch their own small businesses.

Agricultural production in Syria has also plummeted since the start of the conflict, driving up prices for vulnerable families. Since 2014, People in Need has been training small farmers and providing them with vouchers to purchase much-needed seeds, fertilizers and tools.
  • 468 people received intensive training at our vocational centres in 2018
  • 5,034 farmers received vouchers for seeds and tools in 2018
WASH  - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

WASH - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Water and sanitation infrastructures in Syria have been heavily impacted as a result of the war. Over one third of people have no access to drinking water, while electricity is either totally or partly unavailable in most places. Waste collection systems have collapsed in many areas, which threatens to contaminate sources of drinking water and dramatically increases the risk of outbreaks of disease like cholera and leishmaniasis.

Since 2013, People in Need has helped to restore public water wells and networks, construct water points and elevated water tanks, rehabilitate and extend sewage systems, build landfills, provide generators and renovate or install toilets and showers in camps and schools. We work with local authorities and contractors to carry out this work and improve the management of basic water, sanitation and hygiene services. Our cash-for-work programmes employ people to clear debris, renovate water networks and collect waste, thereby supporting rehabilitation efforts while at the same time offering vulnerable families a dignified way to earn an income.
  • In 2018, 505,184 people benefited from improved access to water as a result of our programmes
  • In 2018, we implemented 40 projects to improve water, sanitation or sewage services, creating a healthier, safer living environment for hundreds of thousands of people
Food security and livelihoods

Food security and livelihoods

Millions of people in Syria are currently in need of food aid, with millions more in danger of joining them. In more stable, peaceful areas, People in Need provides monthly food vouchers or cash grants that can be used in a range of local shops. By allowing people to choose and cook their own meals, this approach helps restore a crucial sense of dignity, while also stimulating the local economy and supporting the farmers who supply fruits, vegetables, meat or eggs to our partner shops. In areas with less stable markets, we provide this monthly food assistance in the form of in-kind goods, which consist of staple foods such as flour, rice, bulgur, lentils, chickpeas and fava beans.

Our cash-for-work activities further increase food security by allowing vulnerable families to earn money through refuse collection, street cleaning, repairing irrigation canals and schools, supervising kindergartens, sowing school uniforms, and restoring water and power networks. This approach prevents aid dependency, while supporting education and rehabilitating essential infrastructure damaged or destroyed during the conflict. We also support hundreds of selected bakeries each month, providing thousands of families with access to more affordable bread.
  • Each month 7,500 families receive our food parcels
  • Each month 8,800 families receive monthly food vouchers       
  • Each month 24,000 families receive subsidised bread
  • In 2018 7,923 households were supported through our cash-for-work programme
Non-food items & Shelter

Non-food items & Shelter

Widespread and ongoing displacement means that thousands of families are still forced to leave their homes every day, often living in tents and abandoned or damaged buildings. This is a situation that becomes particularly critical during the cold months of winter. Through cash grants or goods in-kind, People in Need provides these internal refugees with essential non-food items, such as mattresses, blankets, clothes, kitchenware, heaters, hygiene kits and insulation material. In addition, we have recently launched a project to rehabilitate health facilities and help people renovate their own war-damaged houses.
  • 4,311 households received assistance to help prepare for the winter of 2018/2019
  • In 2018, 1,554 households received non-food items
Emergency response

Emergency response

Every day, thousands of Syrians are forced to flee their homes because of the war, with most only taking with them whatever they can carry. In these most urgent of cases, our emergency “ready-to-eat” rations are often the very first assistance families receive. Each kit is packed with enough food to sustain an average family for five days, and all the contents can be eaten without being cooked. We also provide emergency hygiene kits to help families stay clean and healthy in the immediate aftermath of an upheaval. Cash grants are often supplied after this, to help families in distress continue to meet their immediate needs.
  • In 2018, we provided 9,453 emergency food kits to families in the immediate aftermath of displacement or other crises
  • In 2018, we provided 19,000 emergency once-off cash grants to assist highly vulnerable people to buy food, water and other essential items

How else we help